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Monday, March 03, 2008

Jamaican gays reject tourist boycott over homophobia

3rd March 2008 12:35
Tony Grew;

J-Flag, the Jamaican lesbian and gay rights group, has rejected calls for a tourist boycott in protest at homophobia on the island. Canadian newspapers have been focusing on the prejudice and violence gay people face in Jamaica since a leading activist sought asylum there, and some have called for Canadians to refuse to holiday in the popular destination.

In a statement released yesterday, J-Flag, Jamaica's Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, said it shared the frustration at the "slow progress towards transforming the social climate that makes it difficult for gays and lesbians in Jamaica to lead lives free from homophobic violence.

"Yet, because of the possible repercussions of increased homophobic
violence against our already besieged community, we feel that a tourist boycott is not the most appropriate response at this time.

"In our battle to win hearts and minds, we do not wish to be perceived as taking food off the plate of those who are already impoverished. "In fact, members of our own community could be disproportionately affected by a worsened economic situation brought about by a tourist ban.




  • At 3/3/08 10:45 AM, Anonymous MW Savant said…

    This news was released to me today and it has the potential of leading me to change my position on not supporting Jamaican tourism.

    While my intentions are good and noble regarding the position, I must listen to the GLBTI voices of the people "on the ground" in Jamaica.

    J-Flag are clearly stating that a boycott could likely cause more harm and danger than good or change.

    Out of respect for the group, our position, as of today is to neither encourage nor discourage travel to Jamaica, pending discussions with J-flag. I certainly do not wish to exacerbate the dangers faced by GLBTI persons in Jamaica.

    My position in favor of a "boycott" remains a possibility in future, based on what J-Flag recommends going forward.

    In solidarity,
    -MW Savant


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